Request Legal Help Now - Free


NYC Cannabis Pizzerias Slammed with Labor Lawsuit

. By

Three New York City pizzerias featuring marijuana toppings have been slammed with a labor lawsuit alleging failure to provide minimum wage and overtime.

New York, NYThree St. Ned’s Pizza restaurants in New York City are facing a proposed class action lawsuit alleging failure to pay workers minimum wage or properly compensate them for overtime hours worked and other labor violations. The pizzerias, owned by CB Hospitality and Events LLC, specialize in marijuana-infused pizzas. Owner Chris Barrett, AKA the “pizza pusha”, might want to reconsider the tagline on his website: “whatever I do, I do it better stoned.”

Minimum Wage Violations

Stoned or straight, it’s pretty much impossible to not know that the minimum wage for all food services workers in New York City is $15.00 per hour, because the New York labor law requires all employers in New York to visibly display an approved New York minimum wage poster, and other New York and federal labor law posters, to ensure that all employees are aware of federal and New York labor law and overtime regulations. Two employees, Neptali Peralta and Maria Jovita Tapia Villanueva, filed a Fair Labor Standards Act and New York Labor Law complaint against the company, Barrett and manager Raul Avila claiming they weren’t paid agreed-upon wages or overtime compensation.

Maria Jovita Tapia Villanueva was hired as a dessert preparer in April 2021. She was told that her hourly rate would be set at $20, but for the first few months she worked 80 hours per week and was paid $8.75 per hour. According to court documents, from April until August 2021, Tapia worked Monday- Friday from 8am to midnight. Her pay for working 80 hours per week was $700, or $8.75 per hour, and the cash was given to her in an envelope.

In September 2021, manager Avila reduced her hours from 80 to 60. She worked from 12 pm until 12 am five days a week and was paid $600 for a rate of $10 per hour. Manager Avila told her she was only working 12 hours per day ostensibly because the “restaurant was not busy”. The next month she was told to take a week off of work because business was slow, but she was never called back and instead was replaced by a younger employee from Mexico.

Peralta worked 36 hours a week, three days a week, and was initially paid his promised $20 per hour. But he was soon told to work an additional four hours that he was never compensated for. And then, like Tapia, his hours were cut back because of supposedly slow business. He was also taken off the schedule, never called back into work and replaced by a younger worker from Mexico, according to their lawsuit.

Other Labor Law Violations

The plaintiffs also claim that they were denied breaks during their shifts and were responsible to pay for their own uniforms. But New York law stipulates that employers are required to  reimburse employees when demanding specific workplace attire. Their lawsuit claims that Defendants:
  • Denied employees breaks during their shifts
  • Required employees to pay for their own uniforms. But New York law stipulates that employers are required to  reimburse employees when demanding specific workplace attire.
  • Deprived plaintiffs and their co-workers of minimum wage and overtime pay since at least on or about October 2020
  • Violated notice-and-recordkeeping requirements by failing to provide statements along with wages listing the name of employee, name of employer, address and phone number of employer, rate or rates of pay and basis thereof, whether paid by the hour, shift, day, week, salary, piece, commission, or other, gross wages, deductions, allowances, if any, claimed as part of the minimum wage, and net wages.
  • Violated the requirement that they provide, upon employee request, explanations of how wages were calculated in violation of NY labor law.
  • Violated notice-and-recordkeeping requirements by failing to provide employees with wage notices as required on February 1 of every year in violation of NY labor law.

Age Discrimination

Along with minimum wage and overtime violations, former pizzeria employees Neptali Peralta and Maria Jovia Tapia Villanueva also brought New York City Human Rights Law national origin discrimination claims for being replaced by younger workers from Mexico. According to the complaint, manager Raul Avila told Plaintiff Tapia that there were changes of staff that needed to be done to bring “his people” whom he referred to as “chilangos” (meaning Mexicans) from Mexico City to work there. Avila further told Tapia that he wanted to replace workers with young people. Tapia is over 40 years old. Peralta alleged that her hours were also drastically cut –both plaintiffs were told it was due to “slow business”.  But the company hired several young Mexican workers to join the staff and fired both Peralta and Villanueva. 

According to the lawsuit, CB HOSPITALITY AND EVENTS, LLC, CB HOSPITALITY AND EVENTS II, LLC, and CB HOSPITALITY VENTURES HOLDINGS CORP. are a joint enterprise whose annual gross volume of sales made, or business done, is in excess of $500,000. Specifically, St Ned Pizza is a THC-infused pizza restaurant with three locations in the East Village, the Lower East Side and a seasonal restaurant in Coney Island. The popular restaurants are “thriving, high traffic locations”.
Plaintiffs demand a jury trial for all causes of action and claims for which they have a right to a jury trial. The case is Peralta et al. v. CB Hospitality and Events LLC et al., case number 1:22-cv-10805, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.


Unpaid Wages Legal Help

If you or a loved one have suffered losses in this case, please click the link below and your complaint will be sent to an employment law lawyer who may evaluate your Unpaid Wages claim at no cost or obligation.


Please read our comment guidelines before posting.

Note: Your name will be published with your comment.

Your email will only be used if a response is needed.

Are you the defendant or a subject matter expert on this topic with an opposing viewpoint? We'd love to hear your comments here as well, or if you'd like to contact us for an interview please submit your details here.

Click to learn more about

Request Legal Help Now! - Free